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Weird Heroes: A New American Pulp! (Weird Heroes #1)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Ten of the most popular writers and artists in the field of popular fiction produce five of the most exciting, most incredible, most outrageous characters you have ever seen: Gypsy-wandering hero on an incredible quest; Guts-the '50s greaser from the future; Adam Stalker-Vietnam Vet turned undercover hero; Greatheart Silver-Zeppelin captain and adventuer; and Rose-geriatri ...more
Paperback, 247 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by iBooks (first published 1975)
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Otis Campbell

9 • Introduction (Weird Heroes) • essay by Byron Preiss
13 • Introduction to Volume 1 • essay by Byron Preiss
14 • What Is an Old American Pulp? • essay by Byron Preiss
17 • Quest of the Gypsy • interior artwork by Alex Nino
18 • Introduction (Quest of the Gypsy) • essay by Byron Preiss
20 • Quest of the Gypsy • shortstory by Ron Goulart
38 • Afterword (Quest of the Gypsy) • essay by Ron Goulart
39 • Stalker: The Darkstar File • interior artwork by David Sheridan
40 • Introduction (Stalker: The
Fraser Sherman
This was a 1970s attempt at an updated pulp magazine, capturing the spirit of the pulps but more in tune with the modern world (Preiss specifically said he wanted stories that contrasted with the characters like the Executioner and the Punisher). Archie Goodwin's "Stalker" is very good, as is Ron Goulart's "Gypsy." "Rose in the Sunshine State" is excellent but doesn't feel particularly pulpish. Philip Jose Farmer's "Greatheart Silver" is way, way too juvenile in its pulp parody ("Few Man Chew" a ...more
Interesting idea, as various writers, gathered from science fiction and comic books attempt to create new pulp styled heroes for a modern ( in this case the 70's) audience.

Nice mix of characters and genres.
Adam Stalker ( a gritty mystery) and Greatheart Silver ( a satirical pulp style adventure) are my favorites.

Gypsy ( an odd fantasy) has potential, but the first story was only okay.

The remaining two Guts and Rose weak the weakest and suffered from having a weak hero and only a so-so story.
Back in 1975, Weird Heroes called itself the "new American pulp." It was an ambitious attempt to reinvent pulp fiction for a new generation of readers. Did it succeed? No. But the editor and his contributors displayed a boundless enthusiasm for the project. Asking Philip Jose Farmer and Jim Steranko to contribute to the book was a smart move. Both men spent their entire careers championing weird heroes.

Full review here:

The other John
Back in the seventies, Byron Preiss tried to recapture the magic of the pulp magazines of the thirties, commissioning authors and artists to create new characters and tales for the "modern" day. Reading it in the twenty-teens, it comes across as somewhat nostalgic. The only story that really grabbed me was the one featuring Archie Goodwin's character Adam Stalker. As for the rest, well, it would be nice to have in a waiting room. Otherwise, I could do without.
David Allen
Interesting idea: a prose anthology (from '75) with illustrations all meant to update the concept of pulp heroes. But in practice, the stories vary quite a bit in quality, with the editor's contribution being the lamest and my favorite, out of place as it was, being about a Florida retiree. Too many typos too.
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Byron Preiss was the president of Byron Preiss Visual Publications and Ibooks, and was recognized as a pioneer in digital publishing. He was among the first publishers to release CD-ROM's and electronic books.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Preiss graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and earned a master's degree in communications from Stanford University. He produced The Words of Gandhi,
More about Byron Preiss...

Other Books in the Series

Weird Heroes (8 books)
  • Weird Heroes Volume 2
  • Weird Heroes Vol. 3:  Quest of the Gypsy
  • Weird Heroes: Nightshade
  • Weird Heroes, Volume 5: Doc Phoenix: The Oz Encounter
  • Weird Heroes Volume 6
  • Eye of the Vulture (Weird Heroes Volume 7)
  • Weird Heroes Volume 8
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